Regulatory authorities for private schools

To check the standard of private educational institutions, the NWFP government has decided to withdraw the authority of registration and monitoring of the private schools from the boards of intermediate and secondary education and formulate regulatory authorities for the purpose both at provincial and district levels. A proposal has already been made to this effect and the regulatory bodies will be formed very soon, said an official at the Elementary and Secondary Education Department. He said the aim was to streamline the private schools and improve the standard of education there. He said strict action would be taken against the schools if the rules pertaining to admission and registration of the institutions were violated. He said the committee would pay surprise visits to the schools to know about their functioning and see if they were promoting education or just running commercial enterprises. Another official at the Education Department told this correspondent that the bodies would help improve educational system in the private sector. He said the private educational institutions were no doubt playing an important role in promotion of education in the province. But he argued that the mushrooming of the private institutions and commercial thinking of a number of school owners was having adverse effect on educational system in the province. He said the process for registration of the schools was proper and tough. But it was not being followed by the schoolowners and certain government officials, resulting in serious problems. It merits a mention here that successive governments have made experiments to have a proper check on the private educational institutions, but all such efforts failed to bear effective results. Earlier, the executive district officers were responsible for the registration and monitoring of the private schools in the NWFP. The previous government comprising MMA-linked Islamic parties assigned the duty to the boards of intermediate and secondary education while the present ANP-PPP coalition government is forming separate authorities for the purpose.The news